Ever since I discovered these bubble-bath bottles with translucent labels featuring George Barbier designs in a shop a decade ago, I've had a small love affair with Art Deco illustrations and graphics. The world of advertising during the 1920s and 30s recognized a good thing and embraced the style to sell everything from perfume to luxury travel. For me, the beauty of Barbier's work lies in the exaggerated detail he applies to fashion and nature, bringing texture to them both. Vintage Art Deco commercial art features plenty of color--often combining shades we might shy away from today--and stylized lettering that continues to be replicated.
Mimosa soap label, c. 1925, artist unknown.
Fragrance labels, c. 1927, R. Dion.
La Fraisette advertising fan, c. 1930, artist unknown.
Advertising fans, c. 1930, 1925, and 1930, artists unknown.
L'Odalisque soap label, c. 1925, artist unknown.
French syrup and liqueur bottles.
Images: French Modern: Art Deco Graphic Design by Steven Heller and Louise Fili, published by Chronicle Books, 1997. Flea Market Style: Decorating with a Creative Edge by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead, published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1998.